By on December 13, 2018

2018 Lexus LS 500h

Three large and luxurious sedans compete for around $70,000 of your hard-earned and imaginary Internet dollars. Surely this is a segment where compromise will not be a concern, right?

Nope.

Today we proceed in order of engine displacement, largest to smallest:

Genesis G90

2017 Genesis G90 Rear (Release)The Genesis brand’s largest vehicle debuted as the G90 for the 2017 model year, when the new sedan replaced the prior, unloved Hyundai Equus offering. At 204.7 inches in length, the G90 resides right between the smaller Cadillac CT6 and larger Lexus LS 500 in size, but it contains the largest engine. Entry-level Premium trims start with the turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine you’ll find in other Hyundai and Kia cars. But stepping up to the Ultimate trim nets the full-fat 5.0-liter V8. 420 naturally aspirated horses shift this 4,905-pound sedan. Power travels to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic. The ask is $75,350, and the compromise is the badge.

Lexus LS 500

The LS model has always been the flagship sedan for the Lexus brand. A brand new fifth generation debuted for the 2018 model year, when Lexus decided it was time to shed the model’s conservative and quiet image. More in-your-face than ever before, the gigantic grille takes up nearly the entire frontage of this 206.1-inch sedan. Beneath the hood, the people at Lexus moved with the times and culled some cylinders. A 3.5-liter V6 powers the LS 500 in twin-turbo or hybrid arrangements. Today’s selection is the twin-turbo all-wheel drive version. The 4,905-pound LS is motivated by 416 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic. You’ll pay $78,420, and the compromise is the new cylinder count and some unfortunate styling decisions.

Cadillac CT6

2017 Cadillac CT6 - Image: CadillacThe aluminum Cadillac CT6 has wowed North America’s relatively sparse large sedan crowd since the 2016 model year. Cadillac wanted a flagship sedan at its dealers, having been without one since the demise of the DTS at the end of 2011. CT6 rides on a unique Omega platform shared only with the Buick Avenir concept. Unfortunately, GM’s recent plant closure announcement included Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, where the CT6 is built. But CT6 will still be around for 2018 and 2019, at least. Base versions of the CT6 previously received a sad 2.0-liter Ecotec engine, but we’re not interested in that today. We’re shopping the 3.0-liter twin-turbo Sport version, which motivates a lightweight 4,217-pound CT6 with 404 horsepower. All four wheels get power, delivered via an eight-speed automatic. CT6 is a bargain at $66,595, and the compromise is a little bit of badge and a lot of discontinued car.

Even luxury sedan buyers have to compromise. Which of these three gets the Buy?

[Images: GM, Toyota, Hyundai]

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40 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: Large Luxury Sedans of Compromise in 2018...”


  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Buy Genesis, drive Cadillac, burn Lexus.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Buy the Lexus. Yeah, the grille – but the silhouette is OK and depreciation is as good as it gets in this class.

    Drive the Genesis. I have a G80 (in the form of a Hyundai Genesis) and really like it.

    Burn the Caddy. Everyone says they’re the best to drive, but I can’t get past the pointy, angular styling and interior.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    Buy the Genesis – best looking one of the bunch, and I’m sure rides just fine.

    Drive the Lexus – it’s hideous though

    Burn the Cadillac – not a fan of gm products in general. Seems like gm is doing the burning on our behalf here anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      I would do this if we are allowed to buy a body kit for the Lexus. All it needs is the front plastic replaced. At least driving it you don’t see the ugly grill.

      No Caddy for me that doesn’t have a -V in the name.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Buy the Genesis
    Drive the Genesis
    Ignore the Lexus
    Mock Cadillac’s parentage

    Lexus may do great customer experience at the dealer, but the car is eye rape.

    Cadillac looks good to my eye, very American, but my frustration with GM’s (lack of) quality is so profound that it actually makes me angry, and prevents me from considering it even as a daily rental.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I haven’t been impressed by much at GM lately, but if the Cadillac is competitive and weighs 700 pounds less than the competition that’s impressive.

    Buy the Cadillac – perhaps a pity buy for the brand

    Burn the Lexus – I don’t car if it’s the greatest car in the world, that grill must be stopped

    Drive the Genesis – by default

  • avatar
    ptschett

    Buy the Cadillac, drive the Genesis, subject the Lexus to the cleansing fire.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Lexus is probably most boring, so burn.
      Caddy is probably drives the best, so drive
      G90 will be most likely discounted by 10K+ eventually, so it will be bargain with long warranty – buy.

  • avatar
    saturnotaku

    Buy the Lexus for the reliability and dealer experience. Drive the Caddy because Super Cruise is a revelation that out Teslas Tesla. Burn the Genesis because I think the brand will have a short shelf life.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Buy the Lexus because it is a Toyota.
    Burn the Genesis because it is a Hyundai.
    Drive that smoking hot Cadillac right now because in three years it will be a smoking pile of crap.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    If we are talking new, then:
    Buy: Lexus. Ugly as sin. But will hold its value and be on the road 15+ years from now.
    Drive: Genesis. Possibly the best vehicle of the lot. v8 engine! But the depreciation.
    Burn: Cadillac. Not much more prestige than the Genesis. High depreciation. Not as reliable as the Lexus.

    Yet if I had the money, I would lease a Caddy. Why? Because of my age and memories.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    Buy the Caddy, drive the Genises, burn the Lexus

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Buy – Lexus. My guess is that this model is a good mix of reliability, power, and comfort with a great looking interior. Is the infotainment still bad?

    Drive – Genesis. Cuz V8, nice looking interior, and a solid exterior.

    Burn – I think we’ve burned the entire Cadillac lineup except for the Escalade, but there’s something that just doesn’t do it for me with the CT6. The interior, while better, still isn’t up to par for the price. Heck, a Continental has a better looking interior, imo.

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    Burn – All of the above.
    Buy and Drive – Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Because they seem to be the only manufacturer that can do luxury right.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Putting my Dad hat on…

    Buy the Caddy for having the most interior space (110 cubic ft) and tied with the Genesis for trunk room (15 cubic ft.)

    Drive the Hyundai to see of the Koreans have finally figure out suspension tuning. (108 cubic ft interior, 15 cubic ft trunk.)

    Burn the Lexus for being least suited to family cross country road trips with 99 cubic ft interior and 13 cubic ft trunk.

    Now the “rational” choices.

    Buy the Lexus and hold for best resale of the 3.

    Drive the Cadillac for one last hurrah for the wreath and crest.

    Burn the Genesis for looking too much like a Chrysler 300.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buy the G90. I’ll get killed on depreciation and the dealer situation is a fiasco, but it’s a sedan in 2018 with a V8 and walnut trim.

    Drive the LS. It isn’t as ugly in person, although I think it lacks presence for this price point. I’m not thrilled about the V6 or the Lexus “mouse” either.

    Burn the CT6. It does look decent, but the 3.0T has too much lag, the car is on death row, and the brand itself seems to be moving downmarket.

  • avatar
    Dan

    The only good thing that I can say about any of these is that at least Hyundai correctly identified the car that they should be knocking off.

  • avatar
    open country

    Buy – Lexus; best projected reliability and depreciation as well as best brand reputation of the 3. It’s where I’d park my actual money.
    Drive – Genesis; 5.0 V8 and RWD.
    Burn – Cadillac; presuming the CT6 has the CUE system and nobody needs to be subjected to that torture. Will also have freefall depreciation and little support after being discontinued.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Buy: Lex
    Drive: G90
    Nuke from orbit: CT6

  • avatar
    jkross22

    1) Buy the Cadillac for $30-35k used. It’s not worth a nickel more, but should be a fun drive.
    2) Admire the tech, smoothness and newfound athelticism in the Lexus from afar, as it’s
    depreciation won’t make it available for another 5 years.
    3) Admire the Genesis from the back seat, as it’s supposedly the best in the class, but not much
    fun to pilot.

    Corey, bring your righteous hate my way.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Buy Lexus – Superb quality, ultra-refined, good resale value.
    Drive Genesis – Probably a very nice ride but the depreciation would be a killer.
    Burn Cadillac – XT6 didn’t meet its potential.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Wow this is tough, for me it may come down to the interior of the lexus vs the interior of the caddy, the LS is ugly outside so I do not know if I could spend my coin there, I do not know how the interior of the caddy is. That being said and with these I assume I do not have to worry about resale, i will drive it to the ground or hand it off to a family member.

    Buy the caddy and hope for a great deal and the interior is good,
    Drive the G90 it looks the part, V8 should age well
    Burn the safe choice w running well for 10 years , and holding its value, I can not get away from the grill fast enough.

  • avatar
    wooootles

    Buy – LS; probably the best resale/residual value out of the 3
    Drive – CT6; GM sedans are some of the best handling sedans in the world, and, an “autopilot” that works
    Burn – G90. Not that I want to, it’s probably a nice car.

  • avatar
    brn

    1) Buy the Lexus because of the resale value.
    2) Drive the Lincoln because it’s awesome, but wont’ have good resale.
    3) Burn the Genesis because it won’t last long enough to be resold.

    I feel like I’m missing something.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      “Drive the Lincoln because it’s awesome, but wont’ have good resale.”

      Lincoln’s not a choice.
      And who told you Genesis won’t last, and why the hell did you believe them? Not factual.

      At least you got #1 right.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        No one told me. I’m basing it on historical experience of Hyundai products in general. Never saw a 4 year old Hyundai that didn’t feel 8 years old. They just don’t hold up well. Will the newer Genesis’ do better? Maybe, but it needs to be proven.

        You caught me on Lincoln. It should be a choice!

        • 0 avatar
          MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

          Maybe an Elantra, but they put a lot of extra effort into the Genesis cars. Heck even the “old” Genesis- my Dad has a 2013 and it still looks and feels new.

  • avatar

    The CT6 is going to be cancelled. There is no point buying an orphaned car. Lexus cars at least have a future.

  • avatar
    Farhad

    Buy the Caddy
    Drive the Genesis
    Burn that fugly Lexus

  • avatar
    Roger Pinnock

    Buy Genesis – it’s a solid traditional luxury sedan that doesn’t put a foot wrong.

    Drive the Lexus. With a bag over your head. Or over the entire front end. Maybe both.

    Burn the Caddy. Just say no to spending $$$ on any GM product not named Corvette or Camaro.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Buy the Lexus and enjoy that gorgeous interior

    Drive the Cadillac because it’s not a hunday

    Burn every hunday

  • avatar
    bd2

    Buy – G90, but would wait until the refreshed model which has more interesting sheetmetal (albeit, some aspects are a bit polarizing).

    Drive – CT6, already the best handler of the group and should be an even more fun drive w/ the new TTV8; also, like the G90, it’s refreshed sheetmetal is an improvement.

    Burn – L500, ugly as sin, but what makes it worse it that the new sheetmetal/body-style takes away from the purpose of a flagship sedan – passenger comfort at the rear (the sloping roofline compromises headroom).

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